• How to build your own working Apple I replica computer

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    Retro computing lets you get to grips with technology’s history, showing how far modern computers have come. Here’s how to build your own working Apple I replica…

    Apple I kits consisted of a huge motherboard, several dozen logic chips, large power capacitors, diodes, resistors, A ROM chip, and a 6502 CPU designed by MOS Technology and licensed to Motorola.

    The Apple I was severely limited, mainly because RAM was extremely expensive at the time, and the machine supported 4K or 8K of RAM expandable to 32K. The Apple I was text-only, and lacked a graphics mode, color, and sprites for game creation…

    RC6502 replica PCB

    If you’re not up to the task of buying and assembling everything needed to make a new original Apple I, there’s a better way. Tebi of Norway has created a tiny new PCB called RC6502 which uses the original Apple I ROM, a single SRAM chip, a 6502 CPU running at 1MHz, and a single 6821P PIA chip, also originally made by Motorola.

    The board also requires a single Arduino Nano, which you have to load a program into, as well as a few other small components. You can also make an optional backplane PCB to add other features including a video display unit…

    The RC6502 is open source, and you can download the Gerber files and order your own online, or order a board from sellers on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and a host of other online outlets. A Gerber file is a computer-generated schematic of an electronic circuit that is used to produce a PCB.

    The big advantage of the RC6502 is its size and low component count, as the total cost to build the board is under $50…

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